Want to start topping online leaderboards? Want to beat games on the hardest difficulty?
Many people will tell you that in order to get better at a game, you need to put in more hours. This is true to a degree – more hours gives you more practice. However, it is definitely not the best way to improve your skills.
Upping your hours of gaming may not be practical if you’ve got other commitments and it could even become unhealthy if you take it to the extreme. Problems like gaming fatigue are likely to set in – you’ll not only feel physically terrible, but your gaming performance will likely be negatively affected if you’re playing too much. You’ll play better if you’re getting enough sleep, being physically active and spending some time outside each day as opposed to spending all day and night in front of a screen.
So just how do you become better at gaming? Ideally, by playing smarter and not harder. Below are just a few examples of how to improve your gaming performance.
Hack the game
One easy way to beat the game is, of course, to cheat. There are lots of game hacks that you can look into such as aimbots to literally hack the game. You’d be surprised by just how many people use them.
Of course, not everyone is going to be satisfied by doing this. If you’ve got ambitions to go pro, cheating is also not advised as it may get you disqualified in a monitored competition. However, it’s worth noting that there may still be globally acceptable ways to ‘hack’ the game – this could include taking advantage of glitches that haven’t been patched up. Most gaming pros learn to use the weaknesses of a game to their advantage. It may be annoying to other players, but it’s completely fair if the game permits it.
Analyze your gameplay
You can only improve by fixing your mistakes, and this requires knowing exactly what you’re doing wrong. In the heat of an action-packed game, you don’t always have time to consider every angle, making it hard to know what you could have done differently. By recording your gameplay and watching it back, you can get a much better idea as to what you should have done in certain situations, allowing you to approach the same situation differently next time.
There are many different programs and in-game tools you can use to record your gameplay. Use some of the time you would have spent gaming to look back at your gameplay so that you can learn from your mistakes. Watching footage of oneself is what athletes do when improving their sporting performance – the same applies to improving gaming performance.
Learn from pros
You can also learn a lot from other gamers. In fact, sometimes this is the best way to pick up tips and tricks.
There are lots of ways to watch other players in action. One option is to watch players live-streaming gameplay on Twitch – while there are a lot of amateurs out there using Twitch, there are also many pros using it who may even give live commentaries. You can also watch videos of gameplay on YouTube and Vimeo, including tutorial videos. These are a great way to see exactly how other players play so that you can adopt tactics.
When it comes to online multiplayer games, make sure to also learn from what other players are doing in the game – particularly those players that are topping the leaderboard. Watch footage of your own gameplay back and pay attention to what all the players around you are doing.
Some gaming pros may even host paid webinars or even conduct online private coaching. This is likely to be a step too far for most casual gamers, but for those that want to really take gaming to the next level, it could be something worth investing in for those extra tips.
Don’t forget to also study written guides such as blogs, books or even forums. Not all advice is freely available in video form – especially when it comes to very niche gaming topics.
‘Drill’ with other players
Just as you might drill techniques when it comes to sports, you can also drill gaming techniques for online multiplayers games. This requires befriending like-minded players who are willing to practice with you – you can both play privately together and they can help you develop certain moves and skills, while you can do the same for them. You could dedicate half your gaming time to drills and half to competitive playing Once you’ve mastered these skills, you can then apply them to real life games.
How do you find other players to drill with? You may already have friends of a similar level. If not, you may be able to meet people while playing games online. Alternatively, you could try attending events like LAN parties and gaming conventions to meet people. There may even be gaming clubs out there that you can join to meet fellow hardcore players.
Improve your gaming setup
You should also consider the environment you play in and the equipment you’re using. While you may not have the space in your home to set up a gaming room, you should consider playing somewhere where you can concentrate. Many pros love to immerse themselves in the game by turning the lights off and playing with the sound on. You could consider investing in extra equipment like a larger screen, gaming chair, surround sound or a gaming keyboard if you’re playing on PC, but you don’t have to shell out on expensive gear just to play well.
One thing that is worth investing in if you’re playing online is a good internet connection – you can’t expect to play well against other players if there’s a lot of latency and lagging. This could include buying a wi-fi booster to improve your signal, or plugging console directly into the router with an ethernet cable. Make sure that your internet plan also comes with a good speed.
Improving your console or PC is another option. Many PC gaming pros overclock their graphics cards and CPU to help their computer run faster. Just be careful not to overdo it as you could end up causing your computer to crash or overheat.